Fishing village with awesome views
The seaside village of Leigh was named after Samuel Leigh, a Wesleyan missionary of the Hokianga who had visited the small harbour on at least one occasion, according to The Rock and the Sky, The Story of Rodney County, by H Mabbett. The village was offically surveyed and named in 1858 by surveyors Heaphy and Baber but remained commonly known as Little Omaha for many years. There was no road to Leigh until about 1890. So if people wanted to get from Matakana to Leigh they had to either travel by boat or go over land or follow the coastline or do a combination of both. The Leigh Wharf was built for £300 in about 1877 and was replaced in the early 1980s at a cost of about $140,000. The area remains a commercial fishing village but is also a retreat for retired people, a holiday spot and it attracts tourists to the popular Leigh Sawmill Cafe, nearby Goat Island Marine Reserve, and its coastal walkways.